Punknews.org
Ruth's Hat - The Hitchhiker's Guide to Rock and Roll (Cover Artwork)

Ruth's Hat

Ruth's Hat: The Hitchhiker's Guide to Rock and RollThe Hitchhiker's Guide to Rock and Roll (2003)
Fastmusic

Reviewer Rating: 1.5


Contributed by: adamAdam
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I'm under the impression that Ruth's Hat must be a really fun live band. I can just see this group in the corner of a crowded bar rocking out while patrons of all ages and social groups dance themselves silly. This band seems geared towards live performance and I won't hesitate to assume they're qu.
iTunes StoreAmazon


I'm under the impression that Ruth's Hat must be a really fun live band. I can just see this group in the corner of a crowded bar rocking out while patrons of all ages and social groups dance themselves silly. This band seems geared towards live performance and I won't hesitate to assume they're quite successful with it. On record however, there's another story.

Ruth's Hat's gimmick is that they play 60s surf-pop harmonies over Ramones style punk rock. Aside from the obvious fact that The Travoltas do this already (and I'd argue better) Ruth's Hat fails to capture any of that fun energy on record. The canned vocals and rehashed early Beach Boys melodies sound hopelessly without passion here. The Ramones influence is toothless and always seems to stop short of really rocking. The 60s worship is just that: worship. At their best Ruth's Hat call to mind the similar sunny pop of Chixdiggit and Weezer's charming geek rock. There were more than a few moments while spinning this album that I've stopped typing this review and thought "damn you're being mean, they're just trying to have fun."

And they are. And it is.

...but records are timeless. If I want to listen to the "Rocket To Russia" or "Pet Sounds" or a collection of Buddy Holly tunes, I can just take the album off my shelf and play it. Since the genuine article is so readily available I can't think of a situation when I'll need "The Hitchhiker's Guide to Rock and Roll." It's a strange situation, as I technically love all the musical elements that make up this band; I just loved those elements the first time around.

 


Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (August 12, 2003)

It's hardly a surprise that most people on this site don't "get" the Hat. They're a great band - especially live - but they've always been mis-marketed. I really can't picture folks jammin to Ruth's Hat in between Jersey and Snapcase, if ya know what I mean.

Someone should hip Little Steven to these guys...it's really just good rock n' roll. Admittedly, they aren't exactly reinventing the wheel, but they happen to write better songs than 99% of the cookie cutter bands out there.

Live, I liken them to Hamburg-era Beatles...brilliantly unrefined, clever and charismatic. Good singers, but they can rock if they want to.

The record doesn't have that live attitude, but any way you slice it, those are great songs. Give it another listen.

Top tenner for me.

Dave

Daegan (August 6, 2003)

The Internet: "Naw, bro, he totally threw things at him all day in class! I have .mpgs!"

Anonymous (August 5, 2003)

These guys are far better than the travoltas.

If I wanted to listen to the beach boys or buddy holly, then i would. Their are reasons for listening to ruth's hat instead, such as the sped up pace of the songs, the bit of distortion. It's more like 50's pop with a bit of a punk influence. The best description i read of these guys is, "buddy holly on speed." Seriously, they're great.

-scotty

Anonymous (August 5, 2003)

i saw them with catch 22 and plain white t's and they played a cover of "Pop goes the world" by men without hats and a cover of the saved by the bell theme song. They were amazing live but the on the album that i bought, they were lacking

lieutenant (August 5, 2003)

They really do put on an enthusiastic live show, though their style was never one I could enjoy too much. The internet states the singer of Ruth's Hat used to pick on the current Mustard Plug bassist in high school, though such statements are probably just jokes.

Daegan (August 5, 2003)

They really are way better live.

Contests

Exclusive Streams

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go